Author(s): Saevarsdottir S, Vikingsdottir T, Valdimarsson H
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Abstract Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) is a pattern recognition receptor in the innate immune system. It recognizes certain sugar residues arranged in a pattern that enables MBL to bind with sufficient strength. Such sugar patterns are common on the surface of many microorganisms, and MBL has therefore been considered to be an agent that can discriminate between self and nonself. There is, however, increasing evidence supporting that MBL, like many membrane-bound C-type lectin-like receptors, also helps to dispose of various outworn or abnormal body components. Most self-components are protected with sialic acid or galactose that disrupt the pattern of the sugars that MBL can bind, but MBL may be significantly involved in the elimination of self-components that have lost these protective terminal residues. The role of MBL in the clearance of invading pathogens has previously been thoroughly reviewed. Here, we review some findings that support the notion that MBL may contribute to noninflammatory removal of immune complexes and abnormal cells by the reticuloendothelial system. Defects in this clearance mechanism may cause an accumulation of potentially dangerous self-components, thereby increasing the likelihood of chronic inflammation and autoimmunity.
This article was published in Scand J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology